Cuttack is one of the oldest cities of Orissa. It is the former capital of the state. It is presently the district headquarters. Two rivers, Mahanadi from the north and Kathajodi from the south form a delta. Cuttack is located at the apex of this delta. You can visit numerous places within the district taking Cuttack as the pivotal point.
Cuttack is primarily a narrow strip of land which stretches from east to west. This place is very fertile owing to the varying terrains. The western side has a hilly terrain while the eastern has delta plain due to the River Mahanadi. Rice is grown in abundance here as the tributaries of Mahanadi aid in paddy fields.
Cuttack is 30 kilometers from Bhubaneswar. The famous art of the silver filigree work originates from Cuttack. It has international acclamation. This work involves intricate use of thin silver wires into making of exquisite jewelry, utensils and other decorative items.
Places to see in Cuttack
Amageikuda: This place derives its name from its presiding goddess Amagei. The place is a small island situated in the massive River Mahanadi. An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Balunkeswar (Lord Shiva) is also present here. It is 62 kilometers away from Cuttack. Bus services are available onl up to Athagarh. Auto rickshaws or taxis can be used for the remaining 8 kilometers.
Banki: Banki is the abode of goddess Charchika. Situated on the right bank of River Mahanadi, it is one of the eight Shakti shrines in Orissa. Bus services are available from Cuttack to Banki.
Ansupa Lake: Ansupa is a picturesque lake situated 70 kilometers away from Cuttack. Around the lake are bamboo and mango groves. Migratory birds come here during winters. You can participate in activities like boating and fishing. Regular bus services are available.
Barabati Fort: Barabati Fort was built in the 14th century by the Ganga dynasty. It is situated on the banks of the river Ganga. It is 8 kilometers away from Cuttack. The earthen mound of the nine stories is present along with other remains of the moat, gate, etc. A modern stadium is present which hosts various cultural and sports events. A temple is also dedicated to the presiding deity of the city, Katak Chandi.
Bhattarika: It is located 100 kilometers away from Cuttack. It homes the shrine of goddess Bhattarika. Hordes of people visit the place every year.
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary: The Bhitarkanika Widlife Sanctuary covers an area of 650 square kilometers. It has many mesmerizing possessions of nature such as rich marine vegetation, dynamic and salt tolerant varieties of trees, accumulated land, rivers, estuaries, mud flats, creeks and backwaters. It also harbors estuarine crocodiles which is rare in Asia. A large number of migratory birds from Central Asia and Europe also flock this place during winters. This is due to the lush green ecosystems that are abundant in this sanctuary. Many species of birds such as the Cormorants, Asian Open Bill, Black Ibis, Egrets, Darters, etc. are found near the Suajore creek.
Brahmani River: Orissa’s second largest river is the Brahmani River. The river originates from the Chhota Nagpur plateau. The river, initially Shankha and Koel, joins Saraswati at Vedvyas to form Brahmani. The total length of the river is 799 kilometers. It travels for 541 kilometers in Orissa itself. It has a catchment area of 39,033 square kilometers. The river covers many districts primarily, Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack and Jajpur. It finally flows into the Bay of Bengal. There is another sacred place 9 kilometers from Rourkela named Vedvyas.
Cuttack Chandi Temple: It is a holy shrine. It is believed to be the abode of the guardian deity of the city of Cuttack. Legend has it that the goddess appeared in front of man named Hansa Panda. He was asked to dig the fallow land. Forty carts of bullocks were filled with red sindoor as a result of digging and the Devi emerged from the soil. It is believed that the deity guards the city from evil.
Dhabaleswar Island: It is situated 35 kilometers from Cuttack. It is a small island on the River Mahanadi. It is famous for a white Shiva temple situated on a hillock. Tenth and eleventh century’s sculptures are found in these premises. There is also a beach called Dhabaleswar present here.
Grameswara Temple: This is a famous Shiva temple is situated in the Prachi valley. Other idols present are those of Lord Ganesh, Narasimha, Lord Vishnu, Astikajaradkaru, Kartikeya, Parvati, Trivikrama Vishnu and Varaha. Many people gather in this temple every year.
Madhava Temple: It is situated on the eastern bank of the River Prachi. This shrine was built in the 13th century. The temple is sometimes also referred to as the “Durgamadhava” temple due to the presence of a small idol of Maa Durga.
Manikarnika Teerth: It is the confluence of three rivers – Prachi, Saraswati and Manikarnika. This is a holy place located in the Prachi valley. Hundreds of people gather till date for take a dip in the River Saraswati on the occasion of Amavasya (moonless night) in the month of Magha.
Naraj: Naraj was an ancient seat of Buddhist culture and learning. It is situated 15 kilometers from Cuttack. It is an ideal picnic spot. It also offers scenic views of the River Kathajodi which originates from the River Mahanadi.
Olasuni Hill: Olasuni Hills are present on the border of Cuttack and Jajpur districts. Saint Arakhita Das’s tomb is also present here. There is also a temple dedicated to the presiding deity, goddess Olasuni. The saint was a very prominent figure in the region. There is also a cave where the saint attained meditation. Each year sees the celebration of Magha Ekadasi. A nine-day Gumpha Yatra is held every year to make the death anniversary of the saint.
Paramahansanth Temple: This is a highly revered shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. A peculiar thing about this shrine is a water hole, also called Ananta Garva, which floods its sanctum on holy occasions. Huge numbers of people gather here every year.
Quadam-i-Rasool: It a Muslim shrine built in the 18th century. The shrine speaks of Indo-Islamic architecture and spreads over an area of 57 acres. A high compound wall circumferences the shrine along with four towers at each corner. Three mosques are built inside the shrine topped with elegant domes. The central mosque contains engraved footprints which are believed to belong to Prophet Mohammad. Nawabat Khana, a music gallery, is also found inside the shrine.
Salipur Branch Museum: This museum was established in the year 1979. The museum includes sculptures, armory, metal, terracotta, anthropological and natural history specimens, musical instruments, patchitra on paper and palm-leaf manuscripts.
Simhanath Temple: This is an ancient shrine located at Simhanath Island. This place is 10 kilometers away from Badamba. The temple belongs to the ninth century. The temple also contains idols of Shaiva, Shakta and Vaishnava cults of Hinduism. The architecture of the temple is magnificent. This is the oldest temple in Cuttack.
Yogini Temple of Hirapur: This temple is situated in the middle of paddy fields, 15 kilometers away of Hirapur. It is the smallesy Yogini temples in India. It has a diameter of 30 feet and walls as high as 8 feet. There are images of 60 Yoginis still in position. The newly constructed central pavilion has 4 images of Bhairavas. The temple was built in the 9th century, towards the end of the Bhauma rule.
How to Reach Cuttack
By air: Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport to Cuttack. An adequate number of daily flights Indian airlines as well as some other private operators, connect the city with Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.
By rail: Cuttack is well connected to the major cities of the country via trains.
By road: A smooth network of National Highways connects Cuttack with the rest of India. Regular buses and taxis ply to and fro Cuttack for all the major cities of India.